Media that empowers working people – that's how we build a More Perfect Union.

Don't Miss a Video!

Access our exclusive reporting and rapid response actions directly in your inbox, so you don’t miss a beat in the fight for working people nationwide.

Be a part of a community backing up independent journalism with action.

Ideas

Have a story to tell or idea to share?
Email [email protected]
© 2021 More Perfect Union Action

Together we can build power for working people.

We’re asking questions that really matter, and telling the stories of people who really need to be seen and heard.

You can support our work by donating today.

Amount

Make It Monthly

Don't Miss a Video!

Access our exclusive reporting and rapid response actions directly in your inbox, so you don’t miss a beat in the fight for working people nationwide.

Be a part of a community backing up independent journalism with action.

What To Know About the Corn Nuts Strike

No contract, no crunch

YouTube Thumbnail

Video produced and edited by Libby Rainey and Ian McKenna

The workers who make the popular snack food Corn Nuts have been on strike for over a month, after multi-billion dollar corporation Hormel slashed their benefits. They’re paying thousands of dollars for health care and workers with cancer have been forced to skip care all together. Below is a full transcript of the video.

Jon Schneider: I’m a two-time cancer survivor. So under Kraft, we had a Kaiser plan. And with that plan, I didn’t have to pay anything into my surgeries, or procedures, or the chemotherapy. All that was taken care of. After Hormel started, I had to pay $140 just to see a doctor.

Jon: I’m really concerned about my health, especially — yearly, I’m supposed to have imaging

and I’m not going to be able to afford being able to do imaging, blood tests, for them to test for my cancer.

[Workers on picket line]: No contract, No Crunch!

The workers who make Corn Nuts are on strike after billion-dollar company Hormel slashed their benefits.

Lulu Castro: I’ve been working here for 22 years, and the position I’m in now is sad for me, to see the amount I have to pay for health insurance. It’s sad because I work really hard.

Jon: I’m on strike for better health care.

Rashpal Tiwana: My message to Hormel is that I need a good plan, like I used to have.

Workers at this plant in Fresno, CA, make, package, and ship Corn Nuts.

Tou Her: I mean, they make a lot of money out there for Corn Nuts because this is the only facility that makes Corn Nuts.

Hormel bought the Corn Nuts brand in 2021.

Lulu: When Hormel came in, they showed us a contract and told us if we don’t sign, we wouldn’t have a job come Monday.

Workers say their healthcare costs have increased drastically under Hormel.

Rashpal: When Hormel bought the company, we got the worst insurance.

Tou: When I was working here [when Corn Nuts was owned by] Kraft Heinz, I had four kids. During that time, I didn’t pay anything. When Hormel’s took over, I had my last [baby] and I had to pay $3,000 out of my pocket.

Rashpal: I’ve been canceling my appointments due to too much cost for me.

Sky Lopez: Obviously, I’m on my mom’s health insurance. It’s important because I need the visits for my condition. I have heart conditions. So once Hormel bought [Corn Nuts], I obviously had to find a new doctor and everything. And my first bill came out to $1,630. It was my first bill just for a consultation.

Lulu: I’m scared. How am I going to pay that bill?

Rashpal: One cranial surgery, one open skull surgery. I had 40 stitches on my brain and I stayed eight days in the hospital in Redwood City. And then after three months, my iron was low. They got me another surgery. That didn’t cost me anything. I just paid $20 and everything else was 100% paid by the insurance.

[producer]: So you had amazing insurance?

Rashpal: Amazing insurance. Very good insurance. I miss that insurance very much.

Sky: Obviously, I try to help my parents out. In seeing that bill, I knew even with me working, I wasn’t going to be able to help them pay that out really fast.

In FY 2021 paid over $500 million to investors in dividends after raking in $1.93 billion in gross profit.

Jon: They say that they are all about their employees. They want to do what’s best for them.

[CEO of Hormel Foods]: Again, we’ve always been very responsible to our communities and our team members.

Jon: Well then do what’s best for them. Give us what we deserve: better health care.

The Corn Nuts workers have been on strike since August 15.

Jon: It was about 42 people that walked out. Everybody is out here.

Tou: Well, we’ve been here—I believe this is our fourth week. Last week, it was 110, 112, 113 degrees. And everybody will still be out here.

Jon: We really want that health care. And it’s worth being out here trying to fight for it.

Hormel has responded by cutting off their medical insurance during the strike.

Rashpal: On August 15, they sent us a letter overnight, delivered by FedEx—your insurance is cut off from this day, you have no health plan.

Workers say Hormel has refused to negotiate in good faith, and that their strike will continue until they win better healthcare.

Rashpal: I’m angry, frustrated, my husband and myself under stress.

Lulu: I want them to think about their families, if they were in a situation like mine.

Tou: We just got to do what we got to do. We got to stand for ourselves

and for our families.

Jon: No contract. No crunch.

Videography by Scotty Wagner

The Latest

YouTube Thumbnail
As Uber’s Profit Margins Grow, Workers Make Less and Less
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Starbucks Tried to Crush Its Baristas. What Happened Next Will Shock You
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
The Shadow Group Working To Keep Wages Low
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
The Stat That Explains Why Politics Is So Broken
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Corporations Are Privatizing Tap Water. You’re Paying the Price.
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
The IRS Created a Free Tax Filing System. TurboTax is Reeling.
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
This is the South’s Next Worker Uprising
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Baltimore Port Workers Are Reeling. Will Anyone Listen?
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
We Found The Happiest Workers In America
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
What Billionaires Don’t Want You To Know About AI
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Who Is Bankrolling RFK Jr.’s Campaign?
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
The Man Corporate America Is Most Afraid Of
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
What Dollar General Doesn’t Want You To Know
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
“I’m A Doctor: Corporate Greed Is Killing Your ER”
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
What Happened to Boeing?
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Chicago’s Radical Solution to End Homelessness
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
In This Town, Only The Rich Get Water
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
The Evil Company Buying Subway (And The Rest Of Your Favorite Chains)
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Ban Airbnb? This Town Found a Solution to the Housing Crisis
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
I Work For the King of Beers. I’m Paid Like a Peasant
Read More